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Detoxification is the body’s ability to get rid of the ‘bad stuff’—the toxins we take in and the toxins we make. We detoxify through our skin, liver, kidneys, urine, stool, blood and breath.

Most of the treatments people use to detoxify work with the bodies natural systems by helping support these organs of elimination to work more efficiently.

Cilantro appears to be better at protecting against heavy metal toxicity then for getting rid of heavy metals

Specifically What Does Cilantro Do?

Cilantro (a.k.a. coriander) is a culinary herb, common in food from Mexico and Asia. It has a distinct flavor that most people find they either love or hate. I am a cilantro lover. It is often served with seafood dishes, lentil curries and in salsas.   As a detoxifier, it is most commonly referred to in reference to heavy metals.

In the studies that have been done on cilantro, it appears to be better at protecting against heavy metal toxicity then for getting rid of heavy metals.

The best review of the health benefits of cilantro comes from Abascal and Yarnell, Cilantro-culinary herb or miracle medicinal plant? published the 2012 edition of Alternative and Complementary Therapies. It suggests that cilantro may have beneficial effect on the body as a protector heavy metals, but it is unlikely to remove heavy metals.

“Despite its reputation among laypeople for removing heavy metals from the body, studies indicate that coriander is unlikely to do so. Research does show that coriander may help protect the body in general and, in particular, the liver from heavy metals and toxins; may have a beneficial effect in a variety of skin infections; has potential as a sunscreen; and may be beneficial in non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia. The herb also shows interesting anxiolytic, sedative, and pain-relieving effects.

If heavy metal detoxification is what you are interested in here is link to a helpful article.

Ways to Support Your Body’s Natural Detoxification

Detoxification can be thought of as one of three things:

  • Taking in fewer toxins.
  • Making fewer toxins.
  • Supporting your body’s natural ability to get rid of toxins.

There are many ways to safely support this.

The simplest is to take in less toxins. Clean Air, Water and Food.

  • Drink filtered water.
  • Eat organic food (decrease consumption of toxins). Studies have shown people eating organic food have less of the toxins used in growing food in their urine.
  • Eat low on the food chain (less toxic accumulation), meaning more vegetables and less animals (especially animals that eat other animals).

Make sure your organs of elimination are doing there job.

  • Drink enough water (most experts recommend a ½ ounce water per pound of body weight a day). Drinking water helps the kidneys do their job-filtering out wastes and toxins.
  • Have regular bowel movements (1-3 times a day). A diet high in fiber can support this. This helps keep your body from reabsorbing the toxins.
  • Exercise and sweat regularly, most studies support moderate daily exercise for 20 minutes or more.
  • Eat a diet high in antioxidants (found in a plant-based diet) antioxidants help us change toxins into a form that can be removed.
  • Get adequate rest and sleep (many of these detoxification processes happen best when we are asleep or in deep relaxation).

Make less toxins.

  • Practice regular stress management (stress increases the body’s own toxins).

Many of these simple changes are found through Ornish Lifestyle Medicine. These lifestyle changes are great for increasing circulation, promoting healthy elimination and supporting your natural detoxification systems.

What has been your experience of detoxification?

Contributed by

Ben Brown, MD
Medical Director, Ornish Lifestyle Medicine

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